What’s New March 2009: News from FETC, TCEA, and more
SMART Sync 2009
classroom monitoring software
SMART Sync builds on the features of its predecessor, SynchronEyes software, which automated many administrative tasks in the computer-enabled classroom and allowed teachers to monitor every student computer from their desktop. SMART Sync 2009 adds easier control and monitoring capabilities and a new Administrator tool, which saves teachers time on administrative tasks.
CompassLearning announced now offer customers unlimited access to Odyssey curriculum. Unlimited access means more school-wide useage, and campus-wide implementations eliminate the need to schedule shared access.
Subscription fees are based on the number of student accounts and the period of subscription.
Bytes of Learning’s Writing Rules provides detailed instruction in all the basics of writing. The environment makes it easy for students to write and easy for teachers to provide constructive criticism, all online.
Price: Call for pricing.
Category: Student Information System
The Pinnacle Suite from Excelsior Software now provides an all-inclusive set of tools, bringing together the previously separated pieces that stakeholders need for efficient, data-driven decision-making.
Price: starts at $4/account
Read&Write 9 GOLD for Windows
Category: writing software
This web-based writing application allows teachers to distribute new assignments to their students from any computer with Internet access. Students can view, complete, and digitally turn in their writing assignments.
Pricing starts at $365 for Read&Write (non-scanning version) and $645 for Read&Write GOLD.
Texthelp Systems released Read&Write 9 GOLD for Windows, its literacy support software program for individuals with reading and writing difficulties. The new features and enhancements in Version 9 include custom Texthelp Voices, Create Lexiflow eBooks, Screen Masking, Online Fact Mapper, Online Translator, and NIMAS Conversion Tool from CAST. Texthelp is also offering new concurrent user
licensing options for Version 9 for students at home and at school.
Price: $5/student/year (minimum purchase of $1,295/year); 10% off plus six months free if purchased by March 31
Britannica’s SmartMath has three main focuses: math focus (includes 35,000 math problems aligned with NCTM standards), student focus (students practice at their own rate), and teacher focus (formative assessments may be customized for a grade, a class, or individual students by math topic or state standards).
Price: Starts at $100 per one-hour session
Category: professional development
Adaptive Curriculum announces the availability of professional development workshops for middle grade math and science teachers. Conducted by staff from Arizona State University, the workshops will focus on the use of technology to provide students with virtual hands-on experiences in math and science.
Online & Software
U.S. History I
American Education Corporation released U.S. History I, a new core Social Sciences course for the A+nyWhere Learning System courseware program. U.S. History I is the first full-semester course component of a comprehensive, yearlong course of study that is appropriate for grades 9–12. Students will examine history by using the themes of culture, economics, geography, global connections, government, science/technology, and sociology/anthropology. The second semester component, U.S. History II, was released in late August.
Discovery Education Streaming
Price: K-8 Building, $1,570; 9-12 and K-12 Building, $2,095
Category: Video Streaming
Saving educators’ time and further enriching their overall user experience, Discovery Education announces several key upgrades to Discovery Education streaming. The digital video-based learning resource now features an enhanced landing page that allows users to access all Discovery Education services, and preview new additions to the media library, encourages customization and personalization, and more.
Activsoftware Inspire Edition
Price: standalone, $99 (comes with the Activboard)
Category: interactive whiteboard software
Promethean’s new Activsoftware Inspire Edition can be used with any brand of interactive whiteboard. Activsoftware Inspire Edition combines the functionality of both Activprimary (for students aged up to 11 years) and Activstudio (for students aged 11 and above) into a single software solution that allows the user to operate in their preferred and most familiar interface. The new Activsoftware enables full integration of Promethean Activclassroom technologies, including Promethean's Activote and Activexpression Learner Response Systems. Online & Software
Price: Per School
Category: behavioral monitoring
Psychological Software Solutions announced the results from several implementations that show using their 5 Steps to Improving Student Behavior and Review360 leads to noteworthy reductions in disruptive behavior, increased rates of inclusion for students with emotional and behavioral disorders, dramatic reduction in school districts’ expenditures on behavioral services and ultimately significant gains in academic achievement.
Category: education games
Tabula Digita has partnered with Pearson. Tabula Digita will create customized versions of its award-winning DimensionM educational video games aligned directly to the math curriculum in Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley enVisionMATH’s elementary math program, and Pearson’s two middle school programs, Prentice Hall Math and Connected Mathematics.
Price: Call for pricing
Category: walkthrough assessment software
Teachscape’s new Classroom Walkthrough 3.0 (CWT 3.0) features new look fors, the ability to create custom look fors, hierarchical management, and enhanced reporting. CWT allows building administrators and others to quickly collect data about classroom practice and to use that information to work with teachers to plan and implement improvement and professional development activities.
Price: Per student pricing model
Category: online tutoring
The Educate Online program consists of the following: online assessment to identify learning gaps; development of an individualized learning plan based on the student’s specific skill gaps or goals, aligned to state and national standards; lessons delivered online, with a live, U.S. state-certified instructor; ongoing monitoring of student progress by an Educate Online “prescription monitor”; and post-assessment test to measure actual grade-level gains
Price: Annual subscription for one school, $695 (volume discounts for more than one site available)
Category: Video Streaming
The “My Learn360” homepage for teachers is filled with new tools that include a classroom- blog-creating tool, more activities and teacher’s guides, a personalized calendar, and a podcasting tool. The Learn360 streaming solution also now includes an assignment-and-quiz-creation tool and the ability to upload and share your own documents and media.
HP Mini 2140 Notebook PC
comes with a suite of wireless, multimedia, and security capabilities that allows students to learn wherever they have Wi-Fi access. The HP Mini 2140, starting at $499, features a simple, refined all-aluminum case for a sleek yet lightweight design. Weighing in at 2.6 pounds, the fully functional and durable HP Mini 2140 features a large 10.1-inch diagonal scratch-resistant HP Illumi-Lite LED display available in either standard or high-definition resolutions, a user-friendly 92-percent of full-size QWERTY keyboard, and a range of hard-drive options.
released the AVerVision VP-1 Portable Visual Presenter, a high-quality, yet economical document camera solution perfect for first time document camera users, tight budgets, or for those who only need the basics. Priced at just $449.99, the VP-1 offers a portable, lightweight design with key features including Auto Focus and 8X digital zoom. This document camera will fill the fundamental need for basic document or 3D object presentation while still maintaining quality images.
Vernier Software & Technology
has added three new probes that are compatible with Vernier’s data-collection device, LabQuest. Students can now collect scientific data with the new GPS Sensor, Wide-Range Temperature Probe and Power Amplifier. Like other probes in the collection, when connected to the LabQuest students can view and analyze data in a meter, data table or graph mode using Vernier’s award-winning technology.
introduced the Impulse Bluetooth EMG switch that senses tiny muscle contractions. It detects and wirelessly transmits the EMG signal to a Bluetooth receiver and, when used with an accessibility program, allows people with significant physical limitations to control their computers with minute muscle activity. AbleNet also released Twist tops wired and wireless switches that give users the option of using interchangeable twist tops in red, green, yellow and blue. Last, the new Prism C infrared controlled telephone lets people with physical limitations use the telephone easily.
new document camera, the eBeam Focus 150, brings real-world content into an eBeam interactive digital whiteboard environment with a single click of the mouse or stylus. Users will be able to take snapshots of text, physical objects, or people and have them appear instantly in eBeam Scrapbook. Additionally, video recordings can be captured and saved in the Adobe Flash video file format, then added to the Scrapbook file. Luidia also launched its eBeam Inscribe 200e, a wireless writing tablet designed specifically for the education market. With the new eBeam Inscribe, teachers are free to perform familiar mouse functions from anywhere in the room.
priced at $1,995, is a SXGA desktop visual presenter that offers one-touch integrated audio and video recording, HDMI interface and SDHC support. The PS660 also includes features such as HD 1080p resolution, true SXGA resolution output, 15x optical zoom and a five-year unlimited warranty. The PS660 works seamlessly when attached to a computer, with an interactive whiteboard, or by itself hooking up directly to a projector, HDTV, or a monitor.
has developed the Click2Achieve Professional Development Program for K-12 schools. The sessions are designed to foster a core group of users and provide hands-on practice and discussion opportunities so that participants immediately create and implement lessons that use existing resources. Click2Achieve is customized based on school or district goals and includes: planning consultation, two days of on-site training sessions, review and instruction of Turning Technologies' student response software and hardware solutions, classroom best practices, lesson creation, and a follow-up webinar. Turning is also offering a series of summer/fall workshops.
PolyVision’s new eno
uses the digital pen and paper technology from Anoto (www.anoto.com). The Anoto Bluetooth-enabled digital pen, interactive whiteboard, and a simple projector allow teachers to transition from ink to Internet, from markers to multimedia in an instant without a need for wired connections to power or data. Anoto technology uses a patented dot pattern, nearly invisible to the naked eye, that can be read by a digital pen, which records and interprets hand-written strokes.